The Lord of the Dead?

Sam Raimi in talks to direct “The Hobbit”

No doubt a ploy to keep the infuriated fan boys at bay, New Line are said to have asked Sam Raimi – replacing Peter Jackson – to direct “The Hobbit”, according to

The “Spider-Man” and “Evil Dead” filmmaker has a huge following among genre buffs, so the news may just cool a few maddened ‘Rings’ fans down.

One man that won’t be happy with the decision – in fact, he won’t be happy until Jackson is re-hired for the job – is actor Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in the series.

McKellen tells that “It’s hard to imagine any other director matching his achievement in Tolkien country.”